Chamberlins first introduction to callmaking started in the
early 1980s when he watched Butch Richenbach turn him a duck
call out of cocobola wood. Inspired by Mr. Richenbachs performance
and what seemed to be an easy task, Jim quickly found himself purchasing
a lathe of his own. He was always the type of person that enjoyed
woodworking, and the idea of making a call didnt seem to be
that hard of a task. Jims first attempts at turning were nothing
that would impress anyone and eventually this interest shifted to
the area of decoy carving. Jim picked callmaking back up in 2001,
and with some helpful tips and an introduction to aged green bois
d'arc by Billy Ray Starks (Rebel Calls, Stuttgart Arkansas) he was
back in business.
will be the first to tell you that you wont find an experienced
callmaker that doesnt run into problems when designing a call.
Whether it is working out the proper radius of the tone board, determining
the depth and length of the tone channel or perfecting the size
of the exhaust, all of these decisions ultimately affect the sound
and tone quality of any call. Of course any callmaker would like
this process to be perfected on their first attempt and Jim is no
exception to the rule. There have been many times that he spent
lengthy period filing, sanding and trimming reeds only to discard
the insert to the woodpile. Compared to achieving this proper sound,
most other aspects of call making from wood selection, preparation,
turning, installing bands, finishing and even checkering came relatively
easy for Jim.
then, Jim has worked on ways to improve his calls and has now developed
a distinct but simple and clean design that has all the right sounds.
Even today he jokes about how he still is able to heat his shop
with the discards that made it into the woodpile. Jims calls
are made from a variety of woods. African Blackwood and aged bois
darc are among his favorites, but he regularly uses cocobolo,
Bolivian rosewood, ziricote and bocote. If you ask what his favorite
combination is he is quick tell you nothing beats the look and sound
of a Blackwood insert with an olive barrel.
Callmaking for Jim is presently a part-time
hobby, which he enjoys on the side. His calls, which go by the name
Chamberlin Calls, are sold primarily for hunting. But
dont be fooled, if you are looking for a quality collector
grade call his fancy checkered calls are perfect for any display
cabinet. He makes approximately 50 75 calls each year but
those numbers are sure to rise as his calls are starting to gain
During duck season Jim can often be found
hunting with his father (age 77) and son in Arkansas and also around
the Altamaha river swamps and tidewaters of coastal Georgia close
to St. Simons Island where he currently resides. He is also a member
of the CCAA, Ducks Unlimited and the Georgia Water Fowlers Association.